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The Toe Poke

Chamberlain joins Arsenal

Arsenal have signed Southampton winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for a reported fee of £12 million - a deal that breaks the Championship club's transfer record.

Oxlade-Chamberlain moves to Emirates Stadium after agreeing personal terms and passing a medical on Monday. He follows in the footsteps of former Saints academy graduate Theo Walcott.

Walcott joined the Gunners in a revised £9.1 million deal in 2006 and Arsenal could pay a total of £15 million for England Under-21 international Oxlade-Chamberlain, with an up-front fee of £12 million plus a possible further £3 million in add-ons.

Oxlade-Chamberlain, 17, is regarded as one of England's most promising young footballers. He played a key role in helping Southampton secure promotion to the Championship last season, firing nine goals in 34 appearances.

Known for his pace and ability to beat defenders, he can operate on either side of the pitch. His style has invited comparisons with Walcott, though Oxlade-Chamberlain is a better defender who is comfortable in central midfield as well as out wide.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is also rumoured to be close to signing Costa Rican striker Joel Campbell as a replacement for Nicklas Bendtner, who is expected to leave the club this summer.

Arsenal are also keen to bring in at least one experienced Premier League defender as Thomas Vermaelen limped off against Benfica at the weekend, with Birmingham's Scott Dann, Everton's Phil Jagielka and Bolton's Gary Cahill all possible targets.


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